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 Around 530 BC a young

prince named
Siddhartha Gautama
challenged the ideas of
the Brahmin priests and
created a new world
religion
 Born in 563 BC into the
warrior caste
 He lived in luxury in his
family’s palaces and
never experienced pain,
suffering, or death
 He married a beautiful
woman and they had a
son
 One day while riding in
his chariot outside the
palace walls, Gautama
saw a sick man, an old
man, and a dead man
 He realized that life was an endless cycle
of pain and that the only way to escape
that cycle was to seek wisdom
 He left his family when he was about 29
and became a homeless wanderer with
five other men who were also seeking
wisdom
 Gautama tried to find wisdom  At last, after days of
through physical suffering and meditating deeply in
harsh discipline but instead he the shade of a tree,
gained only pain Gautama felt that
the truth had come
to him
 At this point, he
became known as
“The Enlightened
One,” or Buddha
First Noble Truth:
Everything in life is
suffering and sorrow
Second Noble Truth: The
cause of all this pain is
people’s self-centered
cravings and desires ---
people seek pleasure that
cannot last and that leads
only to rebirth and more
suffering
Third Noble Truth: The way to end all
pain is to end all desires
Fourth Noble Truth: People can
overcome their desires and attain
enlightenment by following the
Eightfold Path
 Right knowledge, right
purpose, right speech, right
action, right living, right
effort, right mindfulness, and
right meditation
 By following the
Eightfold Path,
anyone could attain
nirvana--which was
the release from all
pain and suffering
 Buddha taught
his followers to
treat all living
things (humans,
animals, and even
insects) with
kindness and love
 Buddha eliminated the
caste system, the
rituals associated with
Hinduism, and the
ancient language
(Sanskrit) of the Vedas
and Upanishads
 Concerned with all
human beings---
women as well as men,
and lowborn as well as
highborn
 Primarily a monastic religion---young men leave
their families to become monks dedicated to the
Eightfold Path and achieving enlightenment (and,
eventually, nirvana)
 The most important
symbol in Buddhism is the
Wheel of Life which
depicts the cycle of birth
and life
 The eight spokes
symbolize the Eightfold
Path

 Buddhist teachings &


beliefs were recorded in a
collection called the
Tripitaka